The other night in New Orleans at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association‘s crawfish dinner, I met Jeffrey Rosenfeld, a Tulane MBA student graduating in May.
Jeffrey learned a lesson from Hurricane Katrina, after losing most of his personal belongings, and he took action. He went out and had some plastic hurricane-proof business cards created. It’s a little simple thing, but dang, it’s a good idea.
Jeffrey, in fact, was almost caught in the middle of Hurricane Katrina when he decided to stay put in New Orleans and wait out the storm. Luck for him, sanity kicked in at 5 am the day the storm hit and when he heard the official police order to “EVACUATE NOW,” he figured maybe it was time to pack his car and go. So with just a few hours to spare, he headed to higher ground.
His roommate disagreed and stayed. Bad decision.
Jeffrey told me he was communicating with his roommate every couple of hours after the storm passed and the levees broke. “I don’t know what happened, but a bunch of mud just pushed down the street and some came in the house but I was able to clean most of it out.” Shortly after it was “Some more mud came in and I can’t get it out.” Then it was “about six inches of water is all over the first floor now.” Eventually it was “we have over four feet of water in the house. Everything is ruined.”
His roommate eventually found a boat floating down his flooded street and was able to float to safety and was evacuated by the National Guard. But, as I said, almost everything in their house was ruined, including all of Jeffrey’s student business cards.
Which brings me full circle back to the plastic business card. Jeffrey is very aware that nature has a way to doing what it wants. No one knows when the next hurricane is going to hit. But if it does and his belongings are flooded again, his business cards won’t be ruined.
So, good job for some proactive thinking on Jeffrey’s part. I hope if there is another hurricane wherever he lives, he doesn’t wait until 5 am the day of the storm to evacuate, but even if he does, he’ll have a business card to hand out.